During one of my recent trips to Whole Foods I was able to sample a gluten-free Pumpkin Bean Soup from a cooking demonstration. It was so good I took a copy of the recipe. Turns out, the directions were easy, it only needed to cook for a short while, and the ingredient list was fairly straightforward, save for a whole Sugar Baby pumpkin.
Besides in pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, I had never actually cooked with pumpkin before, let alone a whole pumpkin, stem, seeds and all. Once I got the little pumpkin all set, after removing the seeds, stem, and skin, it was a breeze. It cooked surprisingly quickly and tasted delish! After all a pumpkin is just like any other squash except we don't usually cave Jack O'Lanterns into acorn or spaghetti squashes.
To tackle the pumpkin start as if you are going to carve it: cut out the stem and scoop out the seeds and scrape out the membranes.
Then, being very careful slice the pumpkin as you would a cantaloupe, avoiding the bottom stump which is difficult to cut through. Take the slices and cut them again into 1 inch wide slices, then cut the slice into 1 inch chunks. Since whole pumpkins have such thick skins, they are impossible to peel with a conventional peeler. You need to then take the chunks and lay them so the skin side is perpendicular to the cutting board. With your knife, cut the skin off. You do lose a little bit more pumpkin than you would like, but it's the safest, easiest way to do it.
Slice your onion into super thin slices, or dice, whatever your preference is.
I used yellow peppers but again, whatever you prefer!
Will loves to observe!
Over medium heat, cook up your soup.
Once the pumpkin is soft take your shredded kale and beans and add them to heat up.
Once heated through and the kale is properly wilted, the soup is ready to eat!
Pumpkin Bean Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 lbs pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 red peppers, seeded and diced
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ lb kale, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
Shaved Parmesan cheese, to top
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until golden.
Add the pumpkin and sauté until browned.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Note: I needed about 4 cups of stock to make it more of a soup than a mush. Add the kale and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the beans and add the salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the Parmesan cheese on top.